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The importance of Islam to Europe between 1500 and 1800s is the contributions that made to European society such as architecture, military, medicine, and, technology. Even though Europe had an ethnocentric attitude and thought other civilizations were “inferior” they utilized their knowledge for themselves. Such as their military, everything about the Muslim social order revolved around war, which was how empires prospered and conquered land. They were ready for war. But they were not just power-hungry they knew how to rule their empire and make it run smoothly. An example is their agriculture, they had narrowed down planting and harvesting to science, and used the over production to feed millions of people. The Muslim Empires also developed in the arts, sciences and mathematics, which was why Islam teaching was the foundation to what we are learning today.
One of Muslim Empires that expanded into what is now Iraq and Egypt was the Ottoman Turks. These people were mostly war orientated which was how they out smarted their rivals and quickly expanded their empires. The Turks rose this fast because of strong leadership
and kept a warrior aristocracy. This social class of soldiers was granted control over land and peasants. As they kept on getting bigger, they wanted direct control of the Ottoman bureaucracy. Captured prisoners who were strong enough to fight were put into an infantry division called the Janissaries. Even they were legally slaves they educated and later converted. The Janissaries were vital to defend against enemy attacks of the Christian and Muslim adversaries. As the Ottoman Empire continued to prosper future sultans began getting weaker, because of their riches and good fortune. The sultans focused on being remembered by building elaborate mosques rather than reinforcing communication and security around the empire. Because of the sultans being relaxed and thinking that no one can conquer their empire, lead to their down fall.
Another important empire was the Mughals, which were Muslim. Shah Akbar made huge reforms to society during his rule, such as giving women the chance to pursue education and encouraging widows to remarry. Along with those reforms Akbar tolerated different religious practices during his rule, such Hindu and Muslim. Also he provided education for the lower class, so that they could advance in life. He also gave women power over political offices. It was the first time in history when women realized that they can take over a position that had influence.
What many people do not realize is Europe’s knowledge comes from Islamic teaching of math and design that is put into buildings. Also in Central Asia they contributed spices, different clothes and the Islamic religion. Islamic societies set a high bar when it came to gorgeous places of worship, expensive courts, and gardens. It is not known Europe took them as an example and tried to build palaces and courts in their image. We have not truly realized how mixed our society and where the foreign starts and the native begins.
The Ottomans ruled with ambition, they took over the lands of the fallen Constantinople and conquered over villages and kingdoms until the Ottoman Empire expanded. But also the legacy of the Ottoman Empire did not extinguish, simply because it fell. Its remnants still live on in our building, knowledge and faith.
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